Thursday, March 30, 2006


My blog friend Robert Shapiro wrote a comment to one of my posts that has left me thinking for some time. I have decided that I believe I know what Robert was saying to me; and if I do not he has nevertheless lead me to a new understanding of an important concept.

Robert was discussing the difference between the power of discernment and the process of judgment and how we might use the difference in the definitions to enrich our interaction with the world. And if I have misunderstood him, I know he will be right here to help me better understand.

We spend a lot of time in our lives judging others. I know I have spent too much valuable time doing so. If you watch any political television or cable news shows you can actually see careers being built on this activity.
But that is really for the politicos and doesn’t enter into our personal relationships; but the central theme of casting judgment certainly does.

The process of judging involves deciding that another person’s conduct, appearance, attitude or belief system is not acceptable. Of course we decide on this ‘acceptability’ based on our own personal beliefs. This is a form of saying to the individual I believe what is acceptable or appropriate for me is the most important thing and I require you to be as perfect and smart as me or suffer my judgment.

The process of discernment involves deciding that what we see in another individuals conduct, appearance, attitude or belief system is for us, or conversely, not for us. If we decide it is not for us then we can just let it go, using the power of discernment in rejecting what does not work for our life without judging the individual at all.

For purposes of simple discussion lets take the case of thin and athletic people casting judgment on the obese. We decide they are fat, lazy overeaters and all they have to do is simply exercise like me. What a pitiful sight these obese people are, and what about their health? Are these people stupid as well as being lazy overeaters?

This is the process of judgment, deciding that the obese are less than us fit folks because they just don’t measure up to our personal fitness standards. Shame on them.
And, being a lifelong athlete, I have had this judgment reversed on me. I have been judged by some obese friends as being a ‘fitness nut’ with a narcissistic complex.

Let’s look at the same process using discernment rather than judgment. Using discernment it is possible to look at the obese and ‘discern’ that this is not the lifestyle for me; then let it go since it is their decision to live in the world in that manner. And, perhaps the obese can discern that my way is not for them and just let it go.

This difference between judgment and discernment is somewhat simple in the telling and articulation. However I think so few of us have stumbled on this concept, and I believe its actual practice is far more rare than the practice of judgment.

Clearly there is a line where behavior becomes criminal and judgment is required by the legal system, but that is another blog and another pattern of thinking for yet another day.

I have been putting this discernment v judgment into action recently and I thank my reader and friend for the education. As my friend Robert might put it; It works quite well does it not?

Now I Get It.......maybe.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Freedom from the Double Standard?

I promised a discussion of the sexual double standard here; or perhaps I only said I had some thoughts on the subject. I have a bit of trepidation about throwing my thoughts out here just because they are so incomplete and are based solely on my life’s observations and certainly not based on serious research or reading on my part.
So rather than offering a knowledgeable working theory here, maybe its better to just open the discussion by doing nothing more than making a splash in the pool that might get a reader wet and ultimately into the pool with me.

It’s easy enough to talk about the biologic drives of the genders and in some ways it is yesterdays news. Yet often old news is the most accurate news simply because the facts have been tested.
There is no question in my mind that the point made by Jenn regarding the double standard women face in our culture is quite real. Later, Patti-Cake reinforced the same thought. Women in our society walk a very fine and precarious line in experiencing their sexuality. They are barraged daily by advertising that intends to sex them up, and yet cautioned that the sexual energy produced within themselves is acceptable only when exercised in narrowly defined ways.

Here are some thoughts:
I have observed that women treat their sexuality, or more specifically their sexual availability as a commodity. Have you heard the saying “Why would he buy the cow (no negative intended) if he can get the milk for free? This old adage has been handed down from generation of mothers to daughters. That is, if a woman in our culture is going to have an acceptable sexual relationship with a man then a corresponding thing of value is required as payment by the male. The things of value vary. It can be, and often is the promise of marriage, safety and child rearing. This is the often discussed fulfillment of the biologic drive inherent in women to replenish the earth with humans in a safe environment. It is also often true the when seeking this requisite safety that the female relinquishes much of the relationship control to the chosen male; typically because he is simply physically stronger. This control often becomes ‘out of control’ to the point where many women in our society are left with only one control; the control of the mating ritual.

I have also observed that when the required children are produced, and safety has been provided, there is a missing emotional piece required by women as they gain additional maturity. It is a recognition that emotional support is missing with the chosen male partner, often leading to the seeking of emotional support from other men. This is the classic affair in its genesis, and the generator of the peculiar fascination with Alan Alda. It also clears the way to the current predictable path toward the emasculated metro-sexual. Is there any doubt that Mr. Alda and the standard metro-sexual has merely morphed himself into a new role; playing an old game with new tools? If the women doubt this, trust me that the men do not.

I also believe men support the double standard and are more responsible than either gender for its existence. We are driven by a biologic need to mate with anything that moves and produce children that resemble our own presumed perfection. In order to control our gene line it is necessary to control the female. The control involves placing multiple locks on the female’s sexual behavior, including the Muslim practice of removing the clitoris.

It’s my wandering around belief, for want of a more sound or more articulate belief, that the phenomena of men controlling women’s behavior through shaming and even surgical techniques, coupled with the females need to trade sex for another thing of value leads to the cycle of double standard reinforcement within the culture.

Within our society many have understood the underlying process and thrown off the shackles of this biological slavery. Women now control much of the US economy and important resource gathering capability. They are graduating from our universities as the majority gender. Economic power is available to and understood by many women. Men are beginning to assert new claims to rights over birth control and even fighting for disownment rights of their offspring when they are not in agreement with their birth.

Only when we overcome our biology through elective intellectual re-programming will we succeed in freeing our sexual selves from our self imposed slavery to the double standard culture.

When will the double standard disappear? Perhaps when women learn to experience and celebrate their sexuality without a reciprocal price being extracted from the male; and perhaps when men learn to experience and celebrate their sexuality without a corresponding compulsion to gain control of the subject females life and behavior.

If you have come this far you have been splashed and the floor/pool is open.

Back to Texas

Hi everyone.
We returned from Boston late last night. The meet went great for everyone, myself included and one of my teammmates Bobby Whilden established 2 new indoor world records in his age group. He is an extremely fast former University of Texas legend that is now 70 and burning up the masters trackcircuit.
Unfortunately I don't have time this morning to bore you with details of track; and was that a collective sigh of relief on your end?

One highlight: The host hotel for the meet was the Marriott Copley at Copley Square. It's a four star that is normally kinda pricey but was deeply discounted to the athletes. It had those beds that you just DO NOT want to get out of; know what I mean?
The kind with crisp clean cotton sheets, one of those soft topper things for which I don't know the name, and big down pillows, 4 per bed. The kind of bed you want to re-create at home.

Here's a photo.

Here is one photo of the view.

Like I said, I get to hang around with world record holding track athletes because they are my teammmates. I hang around hoping some of the magic will rub off on me. In the center is Bobby Whilden, U Texas legend still knocking the track world off its hinges at 70. On the right is Bill Collins, a 55 year old track legend. Bill owns so many American and World Records he may have lost count. I'm on the far left trying to hijack some of the speed and magic from these two!

I know I promised Jenn and Patti Cake a discussion forum on the double standard, gottta put some worms back in the can today, then think on that one a little.

Have a good Monday!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Going to Boston

Friday I fly from Dallas to Boston for a track meet. This is the indoor meet of the year for masters track athletes. It’s the USA Track & Field National Indoor Championships and I’m really looking forward to being there.
I will get to meet up with my Houston Elite teammates, compete against some and cheer for the others. The very best masters tracksters in the US will be there so the competition will be fierce and fast. I will be running in the 60, 200 and 400 meter races.
The races occur on a banked 200 meter track at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

Last week the World Indoor Championships were held in Linz, Austria. I didn’t go there, but my coach Bill Collins had a great meet. That’s a photo of Bill below. The pic was taken in Linz last week.

He’s the one doing a standing start. The pic is from the 60 meters final race. Despite the stand-up start, necessitated because of a strained abdominal muscle, he ran a new world record for men over 55 in this race. Earlier in the meet he also set a new world record in the 200 meters.

The workouts he gives me are brutal and it is the reason he is the best in the world; he does the same workouts. I'm sure I’ll never catch him since no one in the world can, but it’s always fun for me to hang out with, chase and be coached by a legend.

Collins story

Boston story

So...I’m going from sunny balmy Texas to cold snowy Boston and I will miss you all. Back Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Daily Erasing

As I roam around the various blogs I am struck by the wide variety of material and thinking that I encounter. One emotion I continually see is the ever popular ‘rant’ blog. We have all seen or written these. There is always something we hate or dislike or disapprove of and so on.

I try to make sense of it this way:
I am one that believes. I do not think we are here accidentally. I believe we come to this life in a pure form and this I think can be witnessed in the wonder of childhood and all of its attendant innocence, honesty and intuition.
I believe; because I want to open my understanding to the things I have never known, seeking and finding the truths that I can not conceive, yet I know exist outside my present comprehension. That self awareness of my own ignorance propels me toward the corollary thought that there is a source that does know all things. Believing in that source begs the question of whether the source is pure good or something less. Sensing the feeling I, and others I know have when we achieve good instead of darkness causes me to know without hesitation that good is at the core of the creation. It is a pure good without dilution.

How then to bring the good that is pure in its origin to our more difficult edges of daily existence?

The mind is like a magnet. It draws energy and information from many sources. Those sources imprint the accepted information on the mind. The mind then controls our thoughts and behavior based on the imprinting we allow to take place. Imagine that you could control the imprinting. I ask you to imagine this because I believe each of us can do it. Imagine that you can control the polarity of the magnet in your mind that attracts the negative or the positive. If easier, imagine you have an eraser and you can choose what you keep as an imprint and you also choose what to erase. Then erase what invokes negative feeling, thoughts and behaviors. Imagine it as a delete key on your mental keyboard.

The good that exists inside us each has been there from the beginning awaiting our acknowledgment. The dark that exists was not originally there. It is not present in the freshness of early childhood, it is acquired from the outside. The darkness can be acknowledged or it can be dismissed; erased if you will. The polarity of the mental magnet reversed; so that only the good remains and the hate and darkness drop away.

Some would call this acting on our intuitive good. Because the good is the essence of the creation it is reasonable to accept that the good is in its natural home and has always been there and that darkness is the unwelcome guest. The dark smudge that requires erasure.

This is all so very difficult isn’t it? We work with diligence at erasing the good things and allow the dark smudges; denying the good that is original while fostering the dark that is the interloper.

I’m still at work on this rock pile. I'm hoping to erase what didn’t come into the world with me as an original and dignified passenger, but rather stuck it’s thumb out and is now hitching a ride, occupying a spot in which it is unwelcome.

I trust for a tomorrow where my mind exempts itself from the negative imposters embedded in daily life; the day when I am able to accurately discern the innate positive truth from the outer barrage of negating non-truth. I don't know yet what that pure truth might be. I do know where to look. I know it has as always been inside me, waiting to be separated from the imposters. I pray for the day I find it's every peace/piece.

I pray the same for you each.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Legislators Work Late In Lafave Case

Rick Satire Report News
Sunny Florida

Charges against Debra Lafave were dropped yesterday by the judge in her prosecution. The Florida teacher was accused of having sex with a 14 year old male student. Lafave admitted to the contact with the student in interviews with the police.

In a stunning move within the Florida legislator male congress members worked throughout the night attempting to pass new legislation regarding the penalties for crimes like Lafave’s.

The legislators hoped to pass legislation with retroactive applications that would include Lafave.
The legislation being promoted in the evening’s 11th hour read as follows:

Article 69.69 Penalties/Requirements for sexual reformation:
When a licensed or unlicensed female individual, being compensated to teach within a State of Florida educational institution is convicted of sexual crimes against an opposite sex minor, the described offender will be required to be educated by the current and former male members of congress in the sexual arts. Offender will engage in regular and non-regular sexual acts with the described male legislators in an attempt to reform the offender into enjoying sexual contact with male adults in lieu of male minors. Female members of the legislature are exempt from this reforming activity with the offender.
Exception A: When said offender(s) do not rise to the level of sexual attraction or personal beauty of Debra Lafave, members may option out of the reform process.

The vote failed along gender lines; female members voting in the negative. Dismayed male members said the legislation is unlikely to be raised again as all of the legislators were motivated by the opportunity to reform Miss Lafave in particular.

This reporter attempted to contact former President Bill Clinton for comment. His staff said they were busy filing residency papers for Clinton to become a Florida resident, and that Mr.Clinton was pondering a run for the Florida Senate. After hearing the judge's ruling, the staff asked if I knew of Lafave's exact whereabouts, indicating Mr. Clinton felt she could benefit from his counsel.
Now. On a more serious note. Does anyone seriously doubt the double standard in our society? Can you imagine a male offender walking away from the courtroom; no punishment at all for raping a 14 year old female student? Not one day spent in jail? Imagine the national outrage.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bonds Drops A Bombshell On Reporters

Rick Satire Report News
Scottsdale, Arizona

Barry Bonds has had enough of being branded as a cheater. Bonds let the whole world know in a press conference yesterday that he is prepared to fight back.

During the press conference reporters refused to back off questioning Bonds about his alleged steroid use over the past few years. The final straw occurred when a reporter questioned him about the impending career home run record he is set to break.

According to sources the reporter asked Bonds if he felt he had cheated his way into the record books. In a firm voice, Bonds dropped the bombshell no one expected.

Bonds openly declared he had been given secret information that many of the sportswriters in the room, including his questioner, had been using ‘spell-check’ on a regular basis when composing their articles.

“The time has come to fight back”, declared Bonds, “I have been patient with these allegations for a long time, but the very idea that a reporter with a journalism degree would resort to a computer spelling words for them sickens me and it should sicken any fair minded American.” Bonds went on to state that the profession of sports reporting now has an enormous problem to solve and that many individual reporters have a lot of questions to answer themselves. Bonds went on to call for mandatory spell testing for all sports reporters.

Contacted at his home in California, the Reverend Jesse Jackson said the current use of spell-check by journalist began with the Bush administrations failures in placing African Americans in high profile positions. Reminded that President Bush has had two successive Secretaries of State that are black, Jackson said Powell and Rice “don’t count.”

Ralph Nader also expressed concern about the relative safety of spell - check, expressing grave concerns that it could catch every misspelled word every time. He said this requires government checks on the safety of spell-check and the development of appropriate safety warnings.

Bonds agent says the slugger will continue to point out other cheaters in our society, including corporate employees that take home post-it notes for personal use.

Palestinian Soldier Declares Israeli Boys Are Sissy Pants

Rick Satire Report News
Hammas Eastern Headquarters

Palestinian soldier Samir Bin A-Fartun made a stark declaration to the Hammas controlled press yesterday following another Palestinian rock throwing attack on Israeli tanks.

In a display of Hammas pride and exuberance he declared outright that Israeli boys are being raised as sissy pants. Bin A-Fartun’s comments stem from his observations that Israeli boys are far less proficient at throwing rocks and running with sticks than Palestinian boys.

“If you observe Israeli boys trying to throw a rock it will make you know these are sissy boys,” said Bin A-Fartun as he spat into the dusty sand at his feet. “They have never had to learn to throw rocks like our boys. Always they have had the tanks and airplanes and bulldozers to fight with. This has made them soft. Because Yasser Arafat was careful to take the Palestinian’s money and put it into Swiss bank accounts and save it for us we had to learn to fight with sticks and rocks. Arafat even put the money in his own name so it would not get confused with another countries money. But these Israelis have always had this stupid democracy and capitalism to buy airplanes and tanks. Now they see the result of this nonsense. They have boys that cannot throw the rocks for shit.” Bin A-Fartun grinned widely before going on, “I can hear sometimes the Israeli mothers crying out to their boys to not run with sticks. They say the eye will be punched out. This is silly madness, our smallest of boys can run with the sharp sticks all the way to the tanks and strike the wheels of the tanks with the stick, plus even throw a rock besides running with the stick.”

Bin A-Fartun took this reporter to a back room of the Hammas hut serving as its eastern headquarters and showed me the giant pile of rocks recently imported by Hammas. “All of these rocks will be thrown against the tanks and some day we will be strong enough to throw them into the sky and hit airplanes,” said A-Fartun. “And now since Hammas is in charge we have established a new supplier of rocks. Rocks which are lighter yet stronger.” In addition to the rock supply, a small elderly Palestinian soldier was sharpening sticks and placing them carefully in a growing pile of other sticks.

“Our boys can run with sticks fast, even ones with sharp points and they can make the paint come off the sides of the tanks with a really big sharp rock”, boasted A-Fartun. “The Israeli’s think they are so smart to bulldoze down the houses, but every day we see the Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn with their hammers and all the friends rebuilding the houses.”

Bin A-Fartun offered no comment regarding his source for sharp sticks, but I was advised by other Hammas soldiers that they were being stolen from the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter housing projects.

“I tell you in front of Allah, these Israeli boys are sissy pants rock throwers. It must be so embarrassing for them,” summarized A-Fartun as he strode proudly across the sand and into the sunset.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Elderly Man Arrested For Driving Like A Young Man

Rick Satire Report News
Dallas Police Headquarters
Dallas, Texas

Police in Dallas reported yesterday that an elderly man, 87 years of age, was arrested for driving like a young person.

The driver, Holcumb Stanley, said he had no idea why the patrol officer was pulling him over.

Dallas PD officer Anthony ‘Radar’ Brightone said the dispatcher had received a flurry of calls from cell phone users describing an elderly man driving as if he were young.

One caller told the dispatcher that the elderly man was driving faster than the speed limit and did not have a turn signal stuck in a continuously blinking position. Officer Brightone said it is unusual for a man of Stanley’s age to be doing either one of these things, which according to Brightone, “naturally raises a person’s suspicions.”

Another caller said she had observed Stanley turn into a parking lot without once stopping his vehicle while only part way into the lot.

Yet another outraged caller declared that Stanley did not pull out in front of him at a slow rate of speed when he had the opportunity.

After jailing Stanley, Officer Brightone explained that he is required to protect the public’s safety and can’t simply ignore an elderly man driving like a young man. He explained, “It’s far too dangerous for the average driver that has come to expect a normal pattern of elderly driving behavior from a man his age.”

Mr. Stanley, following his release, said he will ride around with his elderly cousin Jeremiah to get a better feel for what is required of him.

End of Rick’s Report

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Psychiatrist Seeks Damages From Google For Blogger Activities

Rick Satire Report News
Google Headquarters
Mountain View, California

Google employees arriving for work yesterday were met with an unusual scene when they encountered Dr. Luke Iagreewithu outside their headquarters building. Approximately 25 other mental health care practitioners and book publishing executives were lined up behind Iagreewithu as they marched in front of the building protesting Googles support of blogging activities.

Signs reading ‘Ban all blogs’ and ‘Restitution by Google Required’ were predominant among the protestors.

Apparently the stink with Google has arisen because it gives bloggers a reliable outlet for their emotions and feelings. According to Iagreewithu, “Blogging started out innocently enough, but now it is completely out of control and our businesses are suffering the dramatic consequences.”

Iagreewithu’s working theory is that for many people, blogging brings out their dark emotional secrets and problems. “This is an area where those of us in the mental health care profession specialize,” said Iagreewithu. “Now these unsteady emotional bloggers have other people in the blogging community commenting on their blogs and offering advice and support. This has always been our province. Even if we had no idea why these people were nuts we could just smile and give then sympathy and support. Now the commenters in their little blogging communities do exactly the same thing!”

According to the National Institute for Accounting the psychiatrists in America have experienced a 77% downturn in professional fees since blogging was introduced. When I asked Dr. Iagreewithu how this could occur when only 3% of the country participates in blogging he said, “It’s perfectly obvious that the blogging community, while small in percentage of the total population, is composed of 77% of the total nut cases. The fact that bloggers are the spooks and nuts in society and have discontinued their mental health care has had awful consequences for me and others.” Dr. Iagreewithu went on to mention he has had to downgrade his country club membership from ‘A’ to ‘B’ status and can therefore no longer use the club's car wash service.

The booksellers, represented by Clarence Myopian, have a similar but slightly different beef with Google. According to Myopian, the sales of self-help books has gone through the basement. Said Myopian, “Many people in the blogging community have read every self help book on the shelf in their futile attempts to acquire normalcy. These self help ‘know-it-alls’ now go around commenting on other blogs with all the advice found in our books. Therefore no one is buying the books any longer.

Both Dr.Iagreewithu and Myopian have vowed to take Google to court for restitution if their support of blogging activities doesn’t end immediately.

Google declined comment saying their spokesperson was busy writing a rant post about her fat lazy husband.
End of Rick's Report

Completed Tag

In completion of a request by my blog buddy Reach. My filled out tag assignment rests below:

6 Weird Things You Did Not Know About Me, But Should, Otherwise Life As You Know It Will Not Continue:
1) I have to speak in public on occasion as part of my job. I hate it. I dread dread dread speaking in public.
2) I have been married to the same lovely lady for 33 years. A testament to her patience, not mine.
3) I was a police officer for 7 years of my life.
4) I am a masters track athlete. That’s USA Track & Field’s designation for athletes over 30. I will compete in the National Indoor Championships in Boston March 24-26.
5) I detest yardwork.
6) I was born in outback West Texas on a cotton farm.

4 Jobs I have Had In My Life:
1) House building (carpentry) in my youth.
2) Bartender
3) Police Officer
4) Architect

4 Movies I Could Watch Repeatedly and Over…...
(none over and over but these are ones I have seen more than once)
1) Falling Down
2) A Few Good Men
3) Million Dollar Baby
4) Cool Hand Luke

4 Places I Have Lived:
1) Lamesa, Texas
2) Lubbock, Texas
3) Norman, Oklahoma
4) Arlington, Texas

4 TV Shows With Which I Like To Numb My Mind:
1) 24
2) ESPN Baseball Tonight
3) Seinfeld
4) Friends

4 Places I have visited In Order To forget About the Real World for a while:
1) Cypress Cove, Kissimmee Florida
2) San Diego
3) NYC
4) Seattle

6 Websites I Visit Daily:
6) (Major League Baseball)

4 Foods I could Get Enormously Fat On, If I Didn’t Stop Myself:
1) Ice Cream
2) Cookies
3) Bourbon
4) Peanut Butter

4 Places I’d Rather Be Than Parked At My Desk:
1) Nudist resort in Florida
2) On a track; running fast
3) In bed with Reese Witherspoon…er….I mean my wife…jus kiddin sweetie ..;)
4) San Diego coastline

Monday, March 13, 2006

Poor Mark

Rick Report News
Landover, Maryland
Mark Jakins of Landover, Maryland knows he has a small penis. For much of his life, while the situation concerned him, it did not create a threat to his mental well being. Recently however his knowledge of being the owner of a below average size penis has been reinforced by internet web sites.

Jakins had noticed that the email spam he received often offered advice on how to create a larger and more virile penis. When he went to the advertised websites to find out about the secrets of a bigger penis, he was confronted with the awful truth. There were many photos of well built handsome men with normal size penises, gleefully displaying them to the less fortunate like himself.

According to Jakins the fact that he has a small penis was not something he had told a lot of people about. However after seeing the normal size penises at ‘’ Jakins said “I felt like I needed a sounding board for this unfortunate twist of fate, so I began to reach out to friends and others.”

Jakins found his male friends were indifferent. According to his friend Joe Granlow, “I told Mark, like dude, I’m sorry you got like a small tool, but I don’t want to see it and discuss it dude, you know it just kind of gave me the heebies. I told Mark I was really sorry though.”

“You know, no one wanted to discuss the size of my penis with me, I even tried to talk about it with the girls at work” said Jakins. “I told them in all candor that it was small and I was concerned about it but I just couldn’t get anyone interested in the subject. My inner turmoil continued to grow to the point that not having had sex with a girl in the past 8 years seemed like a real blessing.”

Then the worst thing of all happened when his friend Amber from accounting told him that everyone in the building had been talking about his small penis since he had brought the subject up with so many people. She said a lot of the girls wanted to know if it was really teeny but no one could find a girl that knew.

“I knew right away that if girls were asking if it was really teeny, then size really does matter,” said Jakins.

At this point Jakins has subscribed to several penis enhancement sites but so far is having little success with the techniques. “To my disappointment my initial measurement of 7-3/4 inches erect has not changed in any way. I find all of this just almost too much to handle. It appears I’m doomed to a life of solitary masturbation. I would just be too embarrassed to show myself to a girl. I’m really glad I read my email or I would not have even known to be embarrassed. I have considered becoming a priest but I’m told that they often show their erections to young boys and how humiliating would that be, you know what I mean?”

Making things worse, Jakins says that his bumper sticker campaign has been a disaster. “I thought the slogan ‘Honk if you love small weiners’ might help men with small penises feel like there were others like us, but so far I haven’t sold a single bumper sticker.”
End of Rick's Report

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mildred Comes Out

Rick Report News
Marble Falls, Kansas
Mildred Brennen is a lady making changes. The 87 year old grandmother from Marble Falls, Kansas has decided she is gay.

Mildred was watching reruns of Will & Grace in her one bedroom apartment late on a Sunday evening last year when the idea came to her. She says she had become increasingly aware that she identified strongly with the character Grace and wished more men were gay so they wouldn’t always be pestering her for sex.

Wishing more men were gay made her realize she would need to be gay also if the balance of things in Kansas were going to be kept from turning ‘upsy daisy’.

Mildred next signed up for a consultation with the local Gay Alliance ‘life coach’and was given instruction about how to go back in the past and discover her true feelings. In doing so she remembered the little girl at church in 1926 that wore the red and white striped dress on Easter morning. Mildred says, “I was so attracted to that little dress, I just knew I wanted it for myself.” Her life coach and fellow lesbian Melody Lulling, sitting in on the interview, reminded her that it was actually the little girl she was attracted to. “No,” replied Mildred, “I wanted that damned dress I tell ya.”

Mildred’s relatives have taken the news with difficulty. “It’s not that Grandma is gay", said her grandson Michael Makin, “it’s just that it took her so long to decide this that it makes all of us 15 grandchildren feel a little hoodwinked, I mean nobody at school has a gay grandma, it’s a little embarrassing since she put the ‘Come Out’ sticker on her wheelchair. I really don’t want her to come to this years cake walk at the school, but she always insists on baking a cake and hugging whoever wins it.”

A fellow octogenarian at her apartment complex, Cecil Crotchwell, was crestfallen at the news. According to sources he had already bought Mildred’s valentine card and the card store wouldn’t refund his money. The sources disclosed that Cecil quickly regrouped and declared his intentions for Agnes Morehead, Mildred’s cousin, even if she isn’t as pretty as Mildred. “At least she still likes fellas,” Cecil said. “And besides I already have the card.”

For Mildred’s part she says it is all just fine with her since she hasn’t had sex in 33 years anyway. Besides she said, “I get a helluva lot more attention being gay than I ever got by not being gay.” With that she swung her motorized wheelchair around and headed for the Gay Alliance breakroom, her multi-colored balloon, tied to the wheelchair back, flowed along behind her.

End of Report

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Are you kiddin me?

My buddy Colin tagged me all the way from London yesterday. He is a man with a quite long reach. I think he was not sober however. He's asking a 50's year old Texan USA to tell him what music I might be listening to. Why do I have the feeling I might be the butt of jokes at the pub tonight, eh?
Maybe Colin will not be sober again today and therfore not able to look up these I give him....anyhow he wanted seven songs I might pull out of I-Tunes and listen to right by golly now....OK, but with trepidation Mr. Mobile Fish, here ya go...pulled right out of my I-Tunes basket....

'Aint No Love' / David Gray
'Keep it Loose-Keep it Tight' / Amos Lee
'Keep on Pushin' / Calvin Richardson
'Disappearing World' / David Gray
'Meet Me in the Morning' / Drew Emmitt
'Long Way To Go' / Pat Green
'Bridge of St. Mark's' / Jackson Browne (new solo acoustic version)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Seeking More

I went to a Van Morrison concert Monday evening. Van is nearing his 60's and the crowd was probably a little more experienced than the average concert crowd.
I noticed also that the musicians in the band edged toward the experienced side of life as well.
What caught my imagination was that the music itself was so sharp and so good. It made me keenly aware of the value of experience and the remarkable art that results from working ones craft into a form that others can so deeply appreciate.

Prior to the concert I had been reading a little about Morrison’s indifference to his audience and his somewhat negative reputation for giving uneven concert performances. Wrapped inside an interview with Morrison was a give and take about audiences not wanting to hear the new and inventive music, preferring instead to hear the old chestnuts from the 70's. Morrison gets restless with audiences because he feels he cannot take them along on this search.

This struck me as a clear disconnect between artist and non-artist. Taking the thought a little farther it would appear the artist is always restless and seeking, never completely content with where he stands. The art consumer, in this case Morrison’s audiences, are perfectly content to experience the art without searching additionally because the beauty of the art is completely whole for them.

Shift gears now to another night this week.

On Wednesday evening I was doing my track workout at the local university track. I was also sharing the track with a group of professional track athletes that train regularly there. These are the 20 to 25 year old physical wonders that are paid handsomely to race the European circuit and are among the top track athletes in the world. When I finished my workout a group of these sprinters were working on their block starts. That is the process where they crouch in the starting blocks awaiting the starter pistol. When the gun sounds they move as quickly down the track as possible.

I watched in awe as these amazing athletes worked. The speed and strength in which they left the blocks and buzzed the track was reminiscent of Morrison’s music on Monday evening. It was art in motion. The finest in the world doing what precious few others can do.

When they returned back up the track the coach would tell each of the four what was not exactly perfect with each of their starts. The concept expressed by Morrison about his music was being played out in front of me yet again. Here were the very best in the world engaged in a restless pursuit of a place higher than even the highest of spots.

This saddened me for a bit. The inability to be satisfied with your effort, always seeking, left me wondering when enough is indeed enough.

As I drove home I continued to turn it over in my mind. Then as will often happen I bumped up against the truth unexpectedly. The world of elite performers was doing as it must.

You cannot be elite in your field if you ever stop seeking. It is the search for more that creates our progress and for those precious few among us, their ‘elitism’. Anything else is much like a siesta when there is work to be done. The artist can be satisfied I think, but he or she cannot stop and sit. The very good lies behind us, the best of what we can be remains in front of us.
The artist or performer must always be chasing the elusive in order to wear the title 'artist' with dignity.

We are all artists at something. I believe this about us all.

So my friends, search on for the higher place to take your art and do it with confidence, dignity and zeal. Most of us will love you for being right where you are, but you will always know better, will you not?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Precious Days

Standing at the door of tomorrow, blackness beyond the opening
What I have known and still know is present
Ruthless truth speaking mirrors push me toward the door
Photographs of youthfulness pull me back
Precious days are slipping away

Hoping on some days to step through the door
Into the blackness broken by tiny glimmering stars
Another day walking backward in fear
Half hoping I’ll never know what’s beyond the door; I’m too alive and too strong
That’s what I believed only yesterday
Still the door beckons and the unknown beyond the dark steals my thoughts
Precious days are slipping away

Closer now to the door I go out
Than the door I came in
Knowing the best lies behind
Then thinking perhaps its in front
Beyond the door and into the dark; the promise awaits
Precious days are slipping away

Wish on a star beyond the door
Drop a tear for what has passed
Know the circle moves on never closed
Life doesn’t wait to become; death surprises most
Grandchildren play at my feet that were once swift
Precious time is slipping away

Sand slips through the hole of the hour glass
Like water slips through the hand
Leaving the moisture of memory
And puddles of tears at our feet
Mirror please lie to me tomorrow
Let the door stay closed; and the sand be stilled
Precious time is slipping away

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Letter of Law v Spirit of Law

I had a conversation with a campus police officer last week that left me thinking about the concept of “letter of the law” versus “spirit of the law. “

This concept often confuses police officers. I feel at liberty to say this since I was a police officer for several years and observed this confusion first hand. I’m going to spend a few words here on this concept because I believe it has application to our everyday lives.

Let me explain what happened last week to illustrate the concept. I was doing a track workout with a fellow athlete and our coach at a local university. The coach is an Olympic level athlete that attended this particular university and is in the schools athletic Hall of Fame, meaning he is well known around the campus. The coach brought his 6 year old son with him. The coach and son also brought their 2 month old beagle puppy to the workout.

Let me set the physical scene for you. Picture a university athletic track, completely enclosed by 6 foot chain link fence and gates. All the gates are closed. There are 3 adults, 1 child and 1 puppy inside the fenced area. The young boy is playing with a baseball and baseball glove while dad works with my friend and me. The puppy, weighing about 5 pounds and approximately 12 inches long is running about and rolling in the grass, sometimes chasing after the little boy. By the way, it’s a remarkably beautiful sunny afternoon. There is no one else present.

Now enters our young campus police officer. He waved me over to the fence and asked “Who does the dog belong to?” I told him it belonged to the little boy. He said “Tell the boy’s father that the dog has to be on a leash.” I asked him “Is that really necessary?” He said “Yes it’s necessary, because it’s the law on the campus.”

Having a bit of experience in law enforcement (which I did not tell this young officer) I decided to debate him on the fine points of “spirit of law” versus “letter of the law.” To my dismay it quickly became apparent that this vital concept was missing from his tool pouch. I won’t bore you with the details of the conversation.

The leash law he was referencing is in place to protect the public from a dog that is unruly, poorly behaved and so forth. The university is well within reason to not want dogs jumping on people, biting people, turning over garbage cans, running into traffic and I could continue on of course about the obvious need for the leash law. This law is a good law as written. To enforce it on a puppy inside a fence with no public present might be asking for a challenge. This puppy was not large enough to knock anyone down, not large enough to knock over anything, completely controlled by the fence that was even keeping the officer out, and to top it all off there was not a soul inside the fence except for 4 individuals that had no quarrel with the dog.

Therefore the “spirit of the law” was not being violated in any manner. The officer had no room for this concept in his mind it appeared to me. He understood only the “letter of the law.” For the record we said OK, and then simply disobeyed his instruction.

This left me thinking about how this concept is involved in our everyday lives. There is an instance in my life, which I offer as an example.

My track workouts are extremely demanding. Often I disobey the messages from my body and force my way through the workout; then the following day I am too tired for a productive workout and the spiral continues until I become injured or simply have to skip an entire day or two of workouts.

However, the “spirit of the training” is that I will train myself to compete and be in the best racing shape I can reach during race season, uninjured and certainly not exhausted. The “letter of the training” is what is written on the workout sheet, no matter how I might actually feel. By pursuing the “letter of the training” I dismiss the common sense of “the spirit of the training.” In this way my efforts are sabotaged by my own dogged and unyielding enforcement of the letter of the training.

We all do this don’t we? Can you identify your “spirit of life” versus “letter of life “confusions?

Now I Get It.......maybe

Friday, March 03, 2006

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me, or does it look like George put a 'whoopeee cushion' in President Musharraf's chair?


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Naked and Wise John

Time for a humorous yet somewhat sad cop story. This really happened one midnight shift about ten years ago.
The night was hot like any Texas summer evening. I was working the midnight shift on a Friday evening, the 95 degree night dragging on endlessly, the heat abating little through the evening. I had stopped at a convenience store for a soft drink. Contrary to legend there really is an element of calm on the streets at 3am, even in urban areas where I worked. I was trying to keep sleep at bay.

As I left the store to get into my unit a female sped into the parking lot waving her arms trying to flag me down. You can never be sure when you see this exactly what might be next. It can be as serious as someone shooting at her or as innocuous as her wanting directions somewhere. She stopped her vehicle, and started talking in the rapid style speech that naturally causes a cop to tell people “Calm down a little and go slower.”

She did slow down a little, telling me, ”There is man at the corner of the intersection, back about a mile, not wearing any of his clothes.” I asked her if she had actually seen him completely naked. She said “Oh yes, he has everything off, I sat through 2 lights to make sure that was really what I was seeing!” Realizing what she had just said she turned crimson red, rolled up her window, wished me luck and took off. I laughed.

I radioed dispatch what she had reported and made my way to the intersection she described.

Sure enough, sitting at the corner with only a brown paper bag was a white male. He was sitting at the corner on this hot Texas night in the clothes God provided at his birth.
There was very little traffic at the intersection given the hour so I turned on my overhead red and blue lights to make my way across the intersection against the traffic signal.

This set up a fright/flight response in my ‘bad boy’. He stood up and began hauling his exposed white buns up the hill behind him, trying to sprint but succeeding only in collecting stickers in his feet. (That’s what we call grass burrs in Texas) He began to hop around, one foot to another, while running and looking back in panic at the approaching police vehicle.

I picked up my amplified microphone for the simple command “Stop running, stop now”.
He did. Just like that he stopped hopping and running and came guiltily wandering back down the hill. I always wondered why folks run if they are only going to stop when you tell them to. It actually happens pretty often. I mean if you’re going to run at least make me chase you; otherwise you’re just wasting energy.

When he reached me at the corner, it went something like this:

(Bear in mind that when you handle someone where you are unsure about their mental status that the cop language can sound a little odd)

Me: Good evening sir. I turned on my lights and wanted to talk with you because I noticed you were not wearing your clothes.

Unidentified male: Sorry, cop car lights scare me even if I haven’t done anything wrong.

Me: Are those your clothes in the paper bag?

Unidentified male: Yes sir.

Me: Before we talk why don’t you put your clothes on.

Unidentified male: Yes sir. (He put on a pair of dirty brown jeans from the bag)

Me: What’s your name sir?

Unidentified male: John.

Me: Do you have your identification in the bag?

John: No sir, but I just told you my name is John.

Me: I know John, but I have to call your name into my helpers to find out about you. What’s your last name?

John: Millkens

(I did some communication with the dispatcher at that point regarding a white male named John Millkens, 6 foot, white, brown hair, tattoo of a dagger with a coiled snake on his left upper arm, approximately 30 years old.)

Me: OK John, so whats up with not wearing your clothes tonight?

John: It’s really hot and I needed a ride.

Me: John I know its hot dude. I’m sweating too, but the thing is, you can’t just take off your clothes because you’re hot. Where are you trying to go anyway?

John: Arlington. (Arlington is a neighboring community)

Me: OK. Do you actually live in Arlington?

John: I used to, but I had to go to the hospital and when I went back home someone else lived there. Another time I went back to see if they were still there or if they would let me stay there since I used to live there before them and then they said I had to go back to the hospital again.

Me: John, where did you begin your trip tonight?

John: From the hospital.

Me: John, were you leaving Brookhaven Hospital tonight? (County administered mental evaluation hospital)

John: Yes sir, I was staying at Brookhaven Hospital, but they told me to go home.

Me: So now you’re just trying to get back to your old house?

John: That’s where I’m going, yes sir, I am.

(I gave dispatch the low down in code speak and asked them to try and locate a relative by calling the hospital)
Me: John are you angry with anyone tonight?

John: No sir, I like everybody pretty much. But sometimes it makes me sad when people aren’t nice to me.

Me: Was someone not nice to you tonight John?

John: See all that stuff at the edge of the street there? (He was pointing at the gutter where a good bit of litter had accumulated.) People threw that stuff at me tonight from their cars. I just wanted a ride, but they said really mean things to me and threw things at me. Then they started yelling at me to put my clothes on and called me a ‘retardo’.

Me: Did they hit you with any of those things?

John: Yes sir, one of those batteries hit me under my eye. (He did have a red mark below the eye) One man got out of his car and chased me with a baseball bat, but I ran up the hill and he stopped chasing me, but he threw my clothes out of the bag and into the road before he left.
(Dispatch radioed that John’s older sister had been called and was on her way to our location to get John)

John: Did they say my sister Maggie is coming?

Me: Yes, is Maggie your sister?

John: Yes sir, but sometimes she gets mad at me. She will be mad tonight but I will tell her I’m sorry.

Me: John why do you think people threw things at you tonight? (I hoped to make a point about his not wearing his clothes)

John: Because they don’t know what’s important.

Me: What do you mean John?

John: A man without his clothes isn’t hurting anyone. But batteries do hurt when they hit you in the face. It’s important to be nice and not throw things at other people.

(In a scary instant John was making sense to me)

Me: John I have to go to another call now and I have to go right away, but your sister is coming right here to get you. Promise you will keep your clothes on and stay right here?

John: Why do you have to leave?

Me: My helpers just told me a man is arguing with his wife inside their house John and I have to go help her now.

John: OK

Me: John, I’m just curious, how was taking off your clothes going to help get a ride?

John: (John looked at me as though I were a complete moron) “Chicks man”, he said. “The chicks at the hospital dug it when I didn’t wear clothes. If I don’t wear my clothes the chicks will pick me up.”

Me: John take care of yourself, I have to go now. Wait here for Maggie.

I left that scene wondering who was the saner between John and his aggressors. After some thoughtfulness I decided John was far saner to not want to wear his clothes on a 95 degree night than people that threw batteries in his face or wanted to beat him with a baseball bat. He appeared to have a clearer understanding of right and wrong.

True story.